Diversity Problem

Dear Romney: I’m Black—Hire Me!

Mitt Romney took his licks during a speech to the NAACP’s national convention Wednesday. Mansfield Frazier has some suggestions for how the likely Republican nominee can get some color in his campaign.

Dear Gov. Romney:

I heard you say this morning—at the NAACP’s national convention, no less—that you wanted to create jobs for Americans. That sounds great; why not start with me? I can help you increase your employment numbers and also fix a nagging problem your party seems to have appealing to people of color: specifically, you don’t.

A little background on myself: Back in 1996, when I was fresh out of prison and looking for an honest job, I offered my services to Bob Dole. I said I would add some much-needed background color to his presidential campaign. (He didn’t hire me, and he lost the election, but I’m sure the two are unrelated.)

Anyway, today I stand just as ready to help you kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. Also, I clean up real well.

I really think this could work. Your speech to the NAACP in Houston was definitely courageous. Maybe not Daniel in the lion’s den courageous, but you should still milk it for all it’s worth. For example, during the upcoming debates, you can always gloat that you paid homage to that venerable organization in person, while President Obama merely sent Joe Biden (remember him? The guy who said during the 2008 primaries that our future first black president was “articulate and bright and clean”?). If I were you I wouldn’t let anyone forget that.

Your stature even increased a bit with every round of applause that punctuated your speech (I lost count at a dozen)—and while it certainly couldn’t be characterized as “thunderous,” it’s safe to call it “polite.”

Of course there was that bit where you promised to repeal Obamacare; the boos and hisses were pretty loud, but I’m sure your Secret Service contingent made sure the chairs were bolted to the floor.

Regardless, you didn’t make any other gaffes. Instead, you wisely took the high road, reminding the audience of how badly many blacks are doing in comparison to whites. Sure, it was part of a somewhat clumsy effort to argue that making the rich even richer will somehow make things better for everyone else. But of course anyone in attendance older than 50 will recall Ronald Reagan floating the same bit of bullshit.

But I digress. Your appearance at the NAACP convention was a good start, and it’s clear that you’re poised to make serious inroads into one of Obama’s most loyal constituencies. Now all you need are some faces of color standing up shoulder to shoulder with you.

It’s doubtful your handlers have allowed you to view that smarmy little video which purports to show an adviser prepping you for your NAACP speech. Sure, it was scurrilous and underhanded and distorted your record on a number of issues, including your failure to speak out against the prohibition of blacks in the Mormon clergy. But that’s old news! Rest assured that if you take my advice, blacks across the country will be very forgiving of any past transgressions.

After all, look how we’ve forgiven President Obama for almost totally ignoring us.

In short: hire me (and perhaps a few other people of color, maybe a Hispanic or two, certainly an Asian) to stand behind you at public events. It’d make your campaign to be President of the United States seem more reflective of, you know—the United States.

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Warmest regards,